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Back to the beginning…

Like most sane people, one of my favorite movies is The Princess Bride. So many wonderful moments, so many unforgettable quotes. (I mean, who doesn’t go to a wedding, silently mouthing “Mawwiage. Mawwiage is wot bwings us togevver today…”)

One of the perhaps lesser known parts of the movie has recently become one of my favorites. It’s probably two thirds of the way through the movie. Westley has bested the Spaniard, the Giant, and Vezzini. He and Buttercup have navigated the treacherous fire swamp. Westley is lying on a table, literally having the life sucked out of him while Buttercup prepares to marry Humperdink then commit suicide. Meanwhile, Inigo is lying inebriated in a literal gutter.

Inigo:  I am waiting for you, Vizzini. You told me to go back to the beginning. So I have. This is where I am, and this is where I will stay. I will not be moved.

Assistant Brute:  Ho there!

Inigo:  I do not budge. Keep your “Ho there”.

Assistant Brute:  But the prince gave orders.

Inigo: Draws sword.  So did Vizzini. When the job went wrong you went back to the beginning. Well, this is where we got the job, so this is the beginning. And I am staying till Vizzini comes.

While I don’t condone the abuse of alcohol when one screws up, Inigo makes a valid point. When things go wrong, go back to the beginning. When my room gets out of control, go back to the beginning. Take everything out and put it all back in order. When a computer has too many viruses and malware, go back to the beginning. (i.e. reinstall the OS etc.) When I sin and wander away from the God I love, go back to the beginning.

Paul wrote a letter to the church at Ephesus, commending their faithfulness. As usual, he writes encouragement to them and clears up some issues they were having.  A while later, we read in Revelation written by John, this:

“‘I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false. I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name’s sake, and you have not grown weary. But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first.”

You were doing so well, Ephesians. What happened to the love you had for God? Repent and GO BACK TO THE BEGINNING.

I was recently afforded the privilege of seeing a friend “go back to the beginning.” Though raised in a Christian home, he had long since walked away from whatever faith he had as a child. But God has bigger plans for him. Things had gone wrong… but he went back to the beginning. And as awesome as it has been to see such a major event take place in his life, the principle is something that I think should be embraced by all of us, daily. You see, I screw up daily. Some days are “worse” than others. But it’s true. I say something I ought not to say, or think it at least. I do something I shouldn’t. I lose the love that I had for God an hour, a week, years before. So I need to go back to the beginning. I need to check myself and find that love again.

I need to go back to the beginning where it was new and fresh and REMEMBER God’s love for me. I’ve had the opportunity to read Luke along with my friend. I’m seeing things with fresh eyes, reading things in ways I’d never read them before.

In a lot of ways, one a large scale, I’ve gone back to the beginning as well. But it’s not just a large scale thing. Daily, I need to confess my sins and go back to the beginning. And that’s one of the many cool things about God. The old testament tells us that “His mercies are new every morning.” He keeps no record of wrongs and our transgressions are as far removed from us as the east is from the west. He’s buried them in the deepest trench in the deepest ocean. And we get a fresh start.

That’s grace. And I’m so glad we get to go back to the beginning.

Hey God, it’s me. Thanks for the chance to go back to the beginning. Every day or every hour, as much as we need it. As often as I fail to trust you, you’ve already forgiven me. Thank you.

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April Fools’ Day Poem

At the beginning of February
Groundhogs peek their heads from holes
See the ground still covered with snow
And retreat
Back to their holes
To deep slumber
At the beginning of April
We fools emerge from our homes
Only to have days filled with foolishness
Broken cell phones and accident prone friends
We should have crawled back into bed
And waited for winter to truly dissipate
As soon as we saw the ground still covered in snow.

*dedicated to Bruce

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Possible

“The impossible dream

isn’t”

I read on the car wash sign

in Not-My-College Town

at eleven o’clock on a starry night.

Maybe it’st he fact that I’m exhausted,

but the wisdome from those plastic letters

seems more real

than anything I’ve been told lately.

and maybe it’s irresponsible

to take advice from a cliché sign

at a car wash…

But it’s optimism is as refreshing

as jumping into a cool lake

Naked.

So here I come

I’m diving

into an unplanned life

where dreams that seem impossible

aren’t.

And anything can happen.

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Ode to the Final Straw

Ode to the Final Straw

Thank you.

Thank you. So. Freaking. Much.

Others have come before you,

With their challenges,

Their inconsistencies,

Their ubiquitous, frustrating nature.

Others before you have tried.

Others before you have failed.

But you,

You,

You came along and changed everything.

For a moment, all the rest paled

Compared to you,

As if they never mattered.

But now,

I’m standing in the middle

Of a windowless room

While straws rain ceaselessly

Around my outstretched arms.

As I fall to my knees,

The rain slows, then stops.

One

Final

Straw

Wafts down and lands on my head.

Thank you. So. Freaking. Much.

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Over and Over Again…

I could live yesterday over and over again. The weather was hot but beautiful. I got to have breakfast with a good friend. I sat outside for half an hour before class, drinking a can of mocha flavored Starbucks Doubleshot. Then another friend and I left class early. We went to the gas station where she bought the same drink I had earlier and I got a slice of pizza so I wouldn’t be starving at work. We hung out in the park for probably 45 minutes, taking ridiculous pictures. It was glorious. Work was way too hot and busy. But I still wouldn’t change it. After work, I ran through the shower and watched TV for a bit then went to another class, which we had outside! Then I came back to the house, made some tuna salad so it would be cold later, then went outside and read for over an hour. Another friend stopped by so she could do laundry at the Commons. Then House was on.

Sure, some stuff wasn’t great, like putting too much mayo in my tuna or having to work in the hot dining hall. But it was a really good day. And I would live it over and over again, every part.

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conquering fears…

I found myself at (big surprise) Margie’s house on Wednesday evening. Sam was reading the Reese’s Puffs box which had a list of things to do before you turn 18. We went through the list. I hadn’t done a lot of them.  Neither had he.  He read one about conquering one’s biggest fear. Then he said, “I did that! Last summer, remember, the tree stumps!”

Sam used to be afraid of tree stumps in the water (long story but yes they are there). There are, in fact, several in the water by Sam’s house where he’d swim. I found one and I was standing on it being silly, as usual.  I tried to get Sam to come out to it. He was hesitant. But he put on his crocs and swam out all the time asking, “Where is it? Am I going to hit it?” “No Sammy, I’m standing on it.” As he got closer and could no longer touch the bottom I could tell he was scared. I held out my hand and Sam stepped onto the stump. He was so proud of himself: he kept going off and coming back and made us mark it with a big rock. When his mother got home he made her come out on the deck at least a dozen times to see him standing on the stump.

I really like that kid. I like that he remembered that and that it actually had meaning to him.

I wish I could conquer fears like that. I wish I could swim out into the lake, not being able to necessarily see what I’m afraid of, and find myself standing on it, conquering it.

Joshua 1:9

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Well…

Well, today is the last day of classes, tomorrow is study day, and finals start on Wednesday. All in all, I have no idea where the semester went. Oh wait. I know. It went to O. because I spent more weekends than is healthy there, meaning approximately 5. That’s 1/3 of my weekends. Insane.

Oh well. I really want this week to be over. I have a final on Wednesday, two on Thursday, and one on Friday. Then another the following Monday. But if I make it to the weekend, I’m home free-ish.

I’ve been sort of in that mood to push everyone away lately. I guess in a sense I feel like they’re pulling away so I should too. We’ll see how that goes.

I’m ready for break. I think the first couple days will be hermit days. Mom, Dad, and Charanna will go to work and the cats and I will hang out and just relax a bit. Then I’ll start field trips and whatnot.

The construction is going on outside my room right now. Thankfully, they didn’t work Saturday this weekend so I slept until 11! I needed it.

Well, I need to get to work, compiling notes for studying and such.

More sometime later.